That sinking feeling on potholed suburan roads

“People use this road to drop their children to school, but despite many inspections, nothing has changed,” said Vasanthan K, a resident of Sembakkam.
Pothole-ridden roads in Rajiv Gandhi Street in Sembakkam and Rajakilpakkam. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath)
Pothole-ridden roads in Rajiv Gandhi Street in Sembakkam and Rajakilpakkam. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath)

CHENNAI: Just like their city counterparts, commuters in the suburbs are also facing the challenge of bad roads.

Rajiv Gandhi Street in Sembakkam is an important stretch as it connects Madambakkam with Selaiyur in Tambaram. The street lies adjacent to the Kendriya Vidyalaya. The entire stretch has become too unsafe after the recent rains and the residents claim that the road has not been relaid in more than 10 years.

“People use this road to drop their children to school, but despite many inspections, nothing has changed,” said Vasanthan K, a resident of Sembakkam. The road from Rajakilpakkam to Madambakkam remains pothole-ridden at several junctions. The road comes under the highway department and people use this road to reach the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR). Residents allege that the road widening which started a few months ago is moving at a snail’s pace.

“Heavy vehicles use this road to reach the OMR. Bad quality of roads is a risk for two-wheel riders,” said Kamal Ganesan, a resident of Madambakkam. Potholes can also be seen on the Velachery - Tambaram main road, between Camp Road junction and East Tambaram. Out of 196.56km of road work which is being taken up for repairs at a cost of `84.70 crore, the Tambaram Corporation has so far completed work in 117.32 km.

In the stretch between Tambaram and Mudichur, roads near the bypass road and outer ring roads become inaccessible during rains. Priyanka S, a resident of Mudichur said, “Main roads have been relaid in some areas, but interior roads remain the same. Driving is painful, but walking is even more scary during rains.”
Shanmugam Road and Muthuranga Mudali Street in East Tambaram, which is one of the busiest commercial areas, are also in bad shape. 

“Tambaram corporation office is on Muthuranga Mudali Street, still the roads in the area are in bad shape,” said Kalaiselvi, a vendor from Tambaram. A senior official with Tambaram Corporation told TNIE, “Corporation roads are being taken up for repair in priority areas. Minor repairs and left-out roads will be addressed. We have appraised the government to expedite work on highways.”

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